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Mohammad Ali Nekokara
Mohammad Ali Nekokara

ISLAMABAD: The government has ordered the dismissal of former Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad Ali Nekokara, ostensibly over his refusal to use force against protesters on Constitution Avenue during last year’s sit-ins.

An Establishment Division notification to this effect, signed by Joint Secretary Mumtaz Ali Khan, was issued on Wednesday.

Mr Nekokara, who was the SSP responsible for operations when the protesting PTI and PAT marched onto Constitution Avenue, had reportedly refused to use force to keep the charging demonstrators away from key government buildings.

A number of Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers told Dawn that they opposed the decision and adamantly “stood with Nekokara”. The government only wants SSP Nekokara to be sacked for not obeying their orders and has forgotten that three people were killed on that day, they maintained. The SSP, they said, was the first to say no to the government and set an example for others to follow.

The notification issued on Wednesday stated that the Establishment secretary was imposing the major penalty of “dismissal from service” upon Mohammad Ali Nekokara on charges of “inefficiency and misconduct”.

SSP Nekokara dismissed for ‘inefficiency and misconduct’; vows to appeal decision

The notification further stated that he had a right of appeal to the appellate authority under the Civil Servants (appeal) rule, 1977, within 30 days from the date of the notification. When contacted, Mr Nekokara told Dawn he definitely planned to appeal against his dismissal from service.

In a recent meeting with police officers, where journalists were also invited, the interior minister had stated that the SSP and IGP had deserted their positions at a very crucial time.

Shortly after Aug 30, the day protesters stormed Constitution Avenue, SSP Nekokara went on leave. The ministry offered the position of SSP to retired Captain Mohammad Ilyas as he was the senior-most of all SPs in Islamabad, but he refused, PSP officers told Dawn.

The second senior-most SP, retired Captain Mustansar Feroz also had differences with IGP Khalid Khattak and was about to resign, the PSP officers said, adding that he was deputed to remain with the IGP and SSP Nekokara, but abandoned his post when violence broke out.

Mr Nekokara’s case has generated considerable interest on social media and there have been calls to reconsider action against the officer. PTI chief Imran Khan tweeted on Wednesday, “SSP Nekokara was sacked today for not having followed NS’s illegal orders to terrorise the peaceful PTI protest at D Chowk... When we come to power, InshaAllah, we will not only reinstate Nekokara, but also honour him.”

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2015

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